700,000 Stray Microfibers From One Wash? Icebreaker ‘Tees for Good’ Break the Cycle

Doing less laundry sounds pretty great. Icebreaker’s ‘Tees for Good’ campaign is trying to help you reduce the time you spend washing clothes and the plastics you release with each cycle.

How long can you go stink-free without washing an icebreaker natural fiber T-shirt? Icebreaker claims you can wear its soft yet durable merino wool-based layers seven times. And it wants to challenge you to find out with the #teesforgood campaign.


Merino wool is renowned for not stinking. It naturally resists bacteria that create odor, so it can often go many days without washing. So the challenge is to find out how long you can go without washing a shirt.

To enhance the challenge, top fitness app Strava asks #teesforgood participants to try for these numbers: 7 miles run over 7 days, 1 tee, 0 washes. There are 100 icebreaker T-shirts up for grabs. And a lucky grand prize winner gets a trail-running retreat with Anna Frost in Madeira, Portugal. See the end of this article for information on entering the contest.

Technical Tees That Reduce Impact

Made mostly of natural fibers, icebreaker T-shirts are soft, breathable, and odor-resistant. That means you can stay active for longer while you’re wearing one. Thanks to its anti-stink properties, you save resources with fewer washings.

Even better, when you do wash icebreaker tees, they don’t release plastic microfibers. So you can feel good about that, too. The whole Tees for Good idea came from recent reports about just how damaging synthetic (or plastics-based) outdoor clothing can be on waterways. In fact, washing a single load of laundry can release up to 700,000 microfibers, which eventually find their way to the oceans — already a tragic dumping ground.

Those same tiny plastic particles make up 85 percent of manmade debris on shorelines worldwide.

Sure, icebreaker wants you to buy its natural fiber T-shirts. The New Zealand-based company was founded on the superiority of sheep’s wool as a layering fiber for outdoor adventure garments. But the brand’s Tees for Good challenge will make you feel better than good about doing just that. With your next purchase, icebreaker wants you to experience the delayed gratification of wearing your T-shirt seven times before you even think about laundering. Then, record it all on Strava.


Here are a couple of warm-weather icebreaker styles that are up for the task. Both blend the brand’s famously stink-blocking wool with fast-wicking fabrics like nylon or Cool-Lite, a special blend of supple, natural TENCEL and soft merino wool.

Tech Lite Short Sleeve Low Crewe

Use: Hiking, backpacking, and all outdoor adventures

Feel: Breathable and comfortable all year round

Fit: Regular with an open neck and offset shoulder seams to prevent pack rub

Cool-Lite Solace Short Sleeve Crewe

Use: Adventure lifestyle — from trail running to holiday excursions

Feel: Soft and versatile, like your favorite wear-anywhere, do-anything tee

Fit: Classic, slim fit with a crew neck (men’s), or relaxed V-neck (women’s) and a longer length for added coverage


#TeesForGood Strava Challenge: June 6-12, 2019

By switching to an icebreaker T-shirt like the Tech Lite or Cool-Lite Solace and taking up the challenge, you could save up to 2,000 microfibers from being released per wash. To skip seven washes means you could prevent up to 14,000 microfibers from being released into the ocean. Are you in for the icebreaker 7-mile, 7-day no-wash challenge? It runs June 6-12 at #teesforgood.

Tees For Good

Here’s how it works:

  1. Starting June 6, include #teesforgood in the title of your Strava activity and post it on social media like this: X miles, 1 tee, 0 washes.
  2. Upload your activity to Strava during the #teesforgood challenge period no later than 3 days after the challenge ends on June 12. Treadmill and virtual runs count, too.
  3. Once you complete 7 miles over 7 days (with zero washes) on Strava, you’ll receive an email to enter for a chance to win one of 100 icebreaker T-shirts and the grand prize: a trail-running retreat with Anna Frost in Portugal.

This article is sponsored by icebreaker. Learn more about how to reduce your impact with the Tees for Good campaign.